100 Flashes. GIFart generation.
Since Walter Benjamin declared the death of art by assalulting the artwork's authorship through the instruments for its technical reproducibility, several things changed.

The idea of production stopped being able to waive the "RE" prefix, finally denying the power of the message, or, better, the authority of whoever was bearing its representation, pushing the tongue of the scale in the direction of the user, who progressively turned into a conscious producer, through forms of autorepresentation. Moreover, postmodern thought, situationism and Foucault wrote the epitaph on the work of art intended as elitary experience, completely removing power from the author and forecasting the globally social anthropological transformation process that was about to run through the democratization of technologies. This passage has been determined by a dissolving process opening the artworks, in which the linearity of messages broke down in liquid significance crystals, virtualizing and actualizing themselves according to the interventions of each single reinterpretation.

Approaches are multiple, and the idea of remixing shuffles disciplines in undisciplined ways, creating unimaginable hybridization processes. Body becomes text becomes sound becomes video becomes body, in a dispelling loop, infinitely penetrating and expanding the infinite spheres of experience.

The concept of network moves on from the head of the avantgardes to the hands of countercultural movements, transforming mail art into xerox art. Copying machines transform the stencils of handmade publications into an intoxicating mass event. As in the name of a future rose, clouds of toner stain fingers, poisoning the thoughts of millions of people creating their text through amateur fanzines. Alternative distribution channels form, becoming an experiencial space through the social precipitation of the contents in events, parties and concerts, in pure D.I.Y. (do it yourself) style. The communication of these events develops into a volatile form of art. The Flyer; a photocopied leaflet with graphical and textual elements communicating not only the contents, but also the visions of the event. The flyer needs to be light, as it needs to fly from hand to hand as an electrical shock running so fast that it creates a short circuit. The flyer needs to be standard in sizes. 10x10cm or 10x15cm, as it needs to fit into a pocket. It needs to be found randomly, it needs to fly by itself infiltrating interstitial spaces, meaning the architectural holes of comunication that according to field theories are visible only if turned on by the vision of dissonating objects.

The format of the flyer is an act of communication and of fetishist collectionism, traversing all of the countercultural waves from psychedelic movements, to punk, to rave, up until to when networks come along, transforming the concept of rhizome into a digital infrastructure connected by frequency modulator-demodulators. Internet becomes the most used network on earth, encompassing the other ones into an instantaneous sprawl and allowing new communication standards to emerge through programming languages. In this process image virtualizes itself, loosing its physical meaning, dissociating from paper, from ink and from the physics of technical reproducibility through the printer's repetitive beat emission, and through its photographic flashes. Network oriented image formats originate, imposing computer graphics ethics: surfability. Meaning that, after the high definition binge, after photoshop filters and 16million colors, images reowns flyers' "volatile" logics to run through the circuits of the web.

Graphic Interchange Format - simply called GIF - force feeds its presence because of its characteristics, as the father of all formats.

From Wikipedia:
"... The first version of GIF is called 87a. Il 1989, CompuServe diffused an enhanced version, called 89a, adding support for transparency and multiple images.... As soon as the World Wide Web became widespread, the GIF format became one of the two image formats that were most commonly used in Web pages, the other one being JPEG. Even now most internet browsers do not allow for the use of other image formats, discouraging use of image files with sizes that are bigger than necessary. The possibility to store multiple images in a single GIF89a file, accompanied by control data, is often used to create simple animations..."

The engineered transformation of the web enacted through self-publishing - journalistically defined as web2.0 - gave birth to a new form of communication art, renewing the idea of the flyer using strobe flashes built in a sequence of frames. The challenge deals with the creation of animated GIFs as promotional strategies through surfable ethics. This has created standards in the sizes (such as in banners) and in the weights of the animated GIFs. The search for higher fluidity and technological evolution brought image animation to new scenarios and new standards, such as Macromedia Flash, or even to promotion through video miniclips built on the video players of online communities such as Youtube, but, according to a rejection-based dynamic, the most common language on social networks remains the language of animated GIFs that are customized according to the contents expressed on the standards of both banners and flyers for artists, for dj set covers, for avatars of social network profiles.

Usage instructions

The 100Flash competition originates with the objective of promoting content through the rejected GIF technology: GIFart as "Arte Povera" with a cyberpunk ancestry.
The competition is dedicated to graphical art lovers, but at the same time to anyone using avatars and/or producing/diffusing their banners and advertising flyers.

Works of these kinds are admitted to the competition:
a) Avatar: 170 x 255, max 100 kb
b) Half Banner: 234 x 60 pixels, max 200kb
c) Banner: 468 x 60 pixels, max 300kb
d) Vertical Banner: 120 x 240 pixels, max 400kb
e) Vertical Tower: 160 x 600 pixels, max 400kb
f) Flyer: 480 x 700 pixel, max 500kb

The submission must include:

- title;
- the work (see below);
- a synthetic description of work

Works created by individuals and those created by groups are both accepted to the contest.

The jury will not assign prizes and will not enforce rigid rankings. Its activities will be focused on the critical evaluation of the GIFart works, on a reviewing process, and on the promotion of the works that will be deemed as significative, to create opportunities and to get the general audience and the professional operators involved.

The reviews will be progressively published on the website beside the artworks and will be publicly discussed by the authors, reviewers and audience.

Feel free to ask any question or request any further information you might need on the initiative and on the terms for submission of the works, by writing to this email address 100Flash@romaeuropa.org. The curator will answer as soon as possible.

The works have to be sumbitted by registering to this website and loading the works using the "Upload Work" function. Submissions will be accpted up until October 15th 2009 (included).

>> REGISTER TO THE COMPETITION HERE <<
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